In a little under a decade and a half, Stella’s Cafe and Bakery has gone from a trendy little cafe in Osborne Village to a powerhouse on the Winnipeg restaurant scene. The formula has been simple. Great, fresh food, with an emphasis on healthy options(fortunately they haven’t let the healthy bit ruin their desserts). Along with that they place a high value on good service.
Despite all this, Stella’s hasn’t been all that high on my list of places to dine until quite recently. The biggest initial reason for the change on my part was the opening of the Buhler Centre. After that location had been open a few months I finally wandered in. Now, it’s one of my regular places to go to, both for the food and for the service.
One of the first things I appreciated about Stella’s was that they have all-day breakfast available. A lot of the time when my work day ends shortly after noon, I’m still in the mood for breakfast. If I’m really hungry I go for the Cafe Grande with its three types of meat. However, I also appreciate the fact that they have breakfast options available for whatever level of hunger I have.
At the same time, the lunch and dinners at Stella’s are every bit as good as the breakfasts. Portion sizes are always plentiful and there’s a wide variety of menu items available. It’s one of the few restaurants around that strikes a good balance between vegetarian and meat dishes, with both being excellent in quality. My preferred main course is the Chicken Curry, but I’ve enjoyed several of the other mains as well.
Finally one get can complement your meal with a good selection of beverages of both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety. The homemade lemonade is my favourite among the Stella’s beverages. The lemonade is great with a meal or alongside one of Stella’s desserts that are made fresh everyday at the Sherbrook Street bakery. The desserts range from a light finish to the apple maple bread pudding which is almost a light meal in itself.
As much as I like the food at Stella’s, it’s the service that keeps me coming back. What sets the staff at Stella’s apart from many other restaurants that I frequent is how much the staff works together as a team. I don’t worry about whether or not I’ll get a coffee refill, because if my server is busy, someone else will soon be buy. Not just someone doing a round of refills, but perhaps the server who is serving a table two or three seats over from me.
The same applies to my meal. It won’t sit under the heat lamp for 15 minutes, because someone will make sure it gets out reasonably quickly. In addition, as you arrive or leave you are often greeted in a friendly manner by two or three members of the staff.
Stella’s is going to continue to be one of those places that I visit on a regular basis. If you have somehow managed to miss going to Stella’s now is a good time to correct that. Oh and try the jam, some people rave about it.